PALM HARBOR, Fla. — Welcome to the firehouse, Ruby.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue announced it adopted a puppy who had been badly burned in a house fire when she was just a few months old. That puppy, Ruby, is now a member of the Fire Rescue family and will be sworn in as an official firehouse dog in October.
She’s being trained to work in the public education outreach programs to teach the importance of fire prevention and safety.
Fire Rescue said the house fire that injured Ruby took the life of her owner and another dog. Firefighters in Blakey, Georgia, searched for Ruby after they put out the fire but couldn’t find her. A couple of days later, other residents found her and took her to an emergency vet.
Ruby then began her journey to Alabama to a rescue group that could help treat her third-degree burns. After weeks of healing, she traveled to Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor.
The pup has spent the last few months with her foster mom, Karey. Fire Rescue said they asked to meet Ruby and it was “love at first sight for everyone at the firehouse.”
“I received a call from Rick Chaboudy, director at Suncoast Animal League here in Palm Harbor about the puppy who was burned and I thought what a better advocate for teaching fire safety to children than this little girl. I went to my Fire Chief, Craig Maciuba, and with his support and the support of our Board of Fire Commissioners and our firefighters, the decision was made to adopt her,” Public Education Officer Elizabeth Graham said. “She already knows how to stop, drop and roll and we’ve been teaching her to crawl low (under smoke). She’s a part of the family now and I can’t wait to see how many lives she will touch, she’s a survivor. ”
Ruby will be sworn in during an official ceremony on Oct. 12, where she’ll get her fire department badge.
The public is invited to the ceremony at 2 p.m. at Station 65 at 250 West Lake Road.
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue will also be collecting donations for Ruby to provide for her care, medical bills and a fenced in area for her to play and train.
Firefighters say she eats Purina Puppy Chow chicken flavor (it comes in a red bag) and they use Zuke’s soft treats in her training and to give her rewards. If you would like to donate these items, they can be dropped off at Station 65- 250 West Lake Road.
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